My final conclusion on card-counting – Page 4

  • Friendo

     

    Quote: FrankieT said:
    If you do your research and play only the top 10% quality games, can get away with an aggressive bet spread, live an area with a lot of casinos so you can move around a lot, you can make a good 12 units an hr ($60+) and higher with a low RoR for a $15k BR or less.

    I don’t mean to be rude, and I have no problem with you believing this, but I worry that someone with a limited bankroll and no job will be heartened by this.

    I have read hundreds of accounts the difficulty of making it on a limited bankroll, and run sim after sim on every sort of scenario, including expenses and replenishability, at several different Kelly ratios.

    I currently have a $15K replenishable bankroll, and there’s no way I would play green. I could play green by backing my bankroll with my emergency funds, but there is a reason they’re called emergency funds; and I have no doubt that I would hit a fluctuation which would hit me for more than $15K.

    I’ll start playing green when I have a $30K roll – again, that’s replenishable at a rate of around $1500/month. Even then, I have no illusions of averaging more than $40/hr. on a bankroll that small.

  • aslan

     

    Quote: Friendo said:
    I don’t mean to be rude, and I have no problem with you believing this, but I worry that someone with a limited bankroll and no job will be heartened by this.

    I have read hundreds of accounts the difficulty of making it on a limited bankroll, and run sim after sim on every sort of scenario, including expenses and replenishability, at several different Kelly ratios.

    I currently have a $15K replenishable bankroll, and there’s no way I would play green. I could play green by backing my bankroll with my emergency funds, but there is a reason they’re called emergency funds; and I have no doubt that I would hit a fluctuation which would hit me for more than $15K.

    I’ll start playing green when I have a $30K roll – again, that’s replenishable at a rate of around $1500/month. Even then, I have no illusions of averaging more than $40/hr. on a bankroll that small.

    You’re playing it smart.

  • noharmnofoul

     

    Quote: Friendo said:
    I don’t mean to be rude, and I have no problem with you believing this, but I worry that someone with a limited bankroll and no job will be heartened by this.

    I have read hundreds of accounts the difficulty of making it on a limited bankroll, and run sim after sim on every sort of scenario, including expenses and replenishability, at several different Kelly ratios.

    I currently have a $15K replenishable bankroll, and there’s no way I would play green. I could play green by backing my bankroll with my emergency funds, but there is a reason they’re called emergency funds; and I have no doubt that I would hit a fluctuation which would hit me for more than $15K.

    I’ll start playing green when I have a $30K roll – again, that’s replenishable at a rate of around $1500/month. Even then, I have no illusions of averaging more than $40/hr. on a bankroll that small.

    As I read more and more on here and look at people data, I have to agree with you. I’m going to start with a $10k BR and stick to red. I won’t move to green action until 25k.(hell, at that point I’d be more than happy with $20/hr) I doubt I’ll ever move to black action.

  • FrankieT

     

    Quote: Friendo said:
    I don’t mean to be rude, and I have no problem with you believing this, but I worry that someone with a limited bankroll and no job will be heartened by this.

    I have read hundreds of accounts the difficulty of making it on a limited bankroll, and run sim after sim on every sort of scenario, including expenses and replenishability, at several different Kelly ratios.

    I currently have a $15K replenishable bankroll, and there’s no way I would play green. I could play green by backing my bankroll with my emergency funds, but there is a reason they’re called emergency funds; and I have no doubt that I would hit a fluctuation which would hit me for more than $15K.

    I’ll start playing green when I have a $30K roll – again, that’s replenishable at a rate of around $1500/month. Even then, I have no illusions of averaging more than $40/hr. on a bankroll that small.

    Well you’re not finding the games that i’m finding in that case. If you find the right games and get the table solo, you can get an ev of $100 an hr with a 2% half kelly RoR with 10k – yes games like this still exist with $100 max bets (spread to two hands). That’s optimal on an empty table of course and you’re more likely to get $50-$80 because of players coming in and out.

    What types of games are you simming and what kind of bet spread?
    I do 1-20 bet spread on two hands – $5 to $100 – and get away with it because the drunk act works great and I use camo at the right times, but only at opportune times.

    I DID mention that YOU WILL FAIL IF THIS BR IS CUT INTO FOR EXPENSES, OR WITHOUT IT BEING REPLENISHABLE. So I AM not saying you can do it without a job or some sort of regular paycheck (welfare check or disability). Read my last post a little more closely.

  • snorky

     

    I’m starting to keep accurate records of my plays in August. From looking at the numbers, I do believe a small bankroll of even $10,000 is enough to pass by blackjack. Of course it would have to be replenishable and only as a hobby, not a job. sorta… (well, I’m still deciding if I want to try and take big shots with a bigger roll in juicier games) Keep in mind I usually play rated, so I receive somewhat generous comps. I’ve come to the conclusion that as a red chipper comps add A LOT to my overall win rate. For instance, I received $150 and $50 comps in gas every week for 5 weeks in one store. The only issue is that store is 4.5 hours away, which I believe is still worth the $15+/hr drive since I have nothing better to do. I also don’t think most casino care about my $5 to $100 spread or spreading to two hands. The rules are not liberal enough that they probably believe most amateur card counters will inevitably (and respectfully so) fail. It is probably blatantly obvious to them who the counters and ploppies are too after hitting the store for a while. Also if I lose the privilege to play one mediocre store, I still have plenty of others nearby. I’m not suggesting to be blatantly obvious though, but my point is I don’t believe some casinos care enough about a red chipper.

    The closest casino from where I’m from is a 1.5 hour drive, which means an expense of $20 in gas and $10 in toll fees. To cut that cost, I decided to take shuttles/buses provided by the casino which only costs $7-$10. I also receive $15-25 in free play/slots every time I take the bus, so instead of spending $30 driving, I make $10 sleeping (a difference of $40!)

    Here’s my August Progress.

    I am looking towards a fun August grind, which is starting out great. Comments are appreciated!

  • Richard Munchkin

     

    Quote: snorky said:
    Also if I lose the privilege to play one mediocre store, I still have plenty of others nearby. I’m not suggesting to be blatantly obvious though, but my point is I don’t believe some casinos care enough about a red chipper.

    I predict you will find yourself wrong on both counts. Eventually someone will pick you off and rat you out in hopes of appearing smart or furthering their own career. When that happens they will send your name (since you are using a players card) to the other casinos in your area and you will find yourself barred at all of them.

    I’m not saying you are doing anything wrong. At your betting level those comps are meaningful. But eventually you will get barred.

  • snorky

     

    Quote: Richard Munchkin said:
    I’m not saying you are doing anything wrong. At your betting level those comps are meaningful. But eventually you will get barred.

    So what are you suggesting? Are you saying it is better to play unrated at all levels or just suggesting that it’s pointless to even bother card counting.

  • aslan

     

    Quote: snorky said:
    So what are you suggesting? Are you saying it is better to play unrated at all levels or just suggesting that it’s pointless to even bother card counting.

    I think he is saying that eventually you will get barred, so if you enjoy card counting and wish to continue, it would be prudent to begin playing unrated. That way the consequences of being barred will be minimal. In no way do I read that he believes card counting in pointless.

  • Freightman

    He is a bigger nerd than me – and I mean that in a complementary way

    Quote: iCountNTrack said:
    Good post, although i disagree with you on a few points:

    Your 1.5 unit/hour is a rather very conservative aim, it is also indicating that your are not playing the best games out there. i personally would not chose to play a game where is the expectation is only 1.5 unit/hour. Normally, i would aim for 2.5-3.0 units/hour
    400 hours of playing time, is not a lot of hours, it is less than 8 hours a week which is less than half the hours for a part-time job. Yes, granted there is some travel time depending on your location but still that is not a lot of hours. You should be able to rack up more hours easily.

    As far as personal life, you don’t have to be so serious and so secretive about it. Being AP requires a lot of discipline, but it doesn’t mean you can’t add some fun to it. You can plan a long weekend with family/friends at a nice casino resort, you can work out a schedule, be able to play 15-20 hours and spend sometime with them.

    At the end, playing BJ is just like any other business, you will need to find the thin balance between adapting your lifestyle to your playing and adapting your playing to your lifestyle…

    I was impressed with the amount of detail in his spreadsheet. A cursory look tells me that his playing style is not overly aggressive. He is winning just over 50% of his sessions. His standard deviation appears to be rather conservative, and so, his profit of just under 1.5 units an hour seems to be about right. He may be well be playing quality games, albeit very conservatively. My opinion is that anyone who is prepared to record the amount of detail that he has done, has also put in the requisite amount of study and preparation. That being said, his conservative betting style is likely a combination of bankroll size and perhaps, an experiment on his part to see if he can actually do it.

    This individual perhaps gets bored with a project once he has “mastered it” (a premature comment perhaps that should be taken in context) and so is going onto the next one. I would also express the opinion that is 1.5 unit per hour profit is based on a betting ramp of increasing 1 unit per rise in true count, possibly spreading to 2 hands in high counts. Because of his unit size, I would suggest that his BJ bankroll is still somewhat modest. I would encourage this individual to continue playing, to continue increasing bankroll. At such point that his/her ror approaches 0 on his current betting strategy, I would encourage this person to get some simulation software, and to increase his betting ramps based on simulations. I would also tell this individual that 3 to 4 units per hour, as you have stated, is entirely achievable.

    Locally, I still use a 5.00 unit with a 5 or 10.00 min- and am averaging just under 7 units per hour for the past year. Granted, that is based on a bloated BJ Bankroll with no ror. I hope that comment encouages the individual to continue and further develop his skills.

  • matt21

     

    Quote: Freightman said:
    I was impressed with the amount of detail in his spreadsheet. A cursory look tells me that his playing style is not overly aggressive. He is winning just over 50% of his sessions. His standard deviation appears to be rather conservative, and so, his profit of just under 1.5 units an hour seems to be about right. He may be well be playing quality games, albeit very conservatively. My opinion is that anyone who is prepared to record the amount of detail that he has done, has also put in the requisite amount of study and preparation. That being said, his conservative betting style is likely a combination of bankroll size and perhaps, an experiment on his part to see if he can actually do it.

    This individual perhaps gets bored with a project once he has “mastered it” (a premature comment perhaps that should be taken in context) and so is going onto the next one. I would also express the opinion that is 1.5 unit per hour profit is based on a betting ramp of increasing 1 unit per rise in true count, possibly spreading to 2 hands in high counts. Because of his unit size, I would suggest that his BJ bankroll is still somewhat modest. I would encourage this individual to continue playing, to continue increasing bankroll. At such point that his/her ror approaches 0 on his current betting strategy, I would encourage this person to get some simulation software, and to increase his betting ramps based on simulations. I would also tell this individual that 3 to 4 units per hour, as you have stated, is entirely achievable.

    Locally, I still use a 5.00 unit with a 5 or 10.00 min- and am averaging just under 7 units per hour for the past year. Granted, that is based on a bloated BJ Bankroll with no ror. I hope that comment encouages the individual to continue and further develop his skills.

    Hey Freightman, thanks for your post. You were quite spot on about some of the points you estimated!
    Yes I did put in quite a bit of preparation and study into card counting (I think this generally always pays off). Although on paper the playing style might not have looked aggressive I felt it was reasonably so with spreading 1×1 to 2×12 units for most of my play. Yes the games were/are of reasonable quality. Bankroll-wise I have always been well-funded thus far – quite quickly the bet sizing was more constrained by heat considerations rather than bankroll ROR issues.
    One thing that often does surprise me is that people with relatively small bankrolls are willing to put in a lot of time and effort into this stuff – I generally don’t like to invest time and effort unless I can expect to make a good amount of money out of it.
    7 units per hour, just from counting is superb. Presumably this is based on actual results, rather than a sim? I would think making 7 units an hour is unlikely from straight card counting. But either way that sounds like great work.
    In the end (thus far) I made a reasonable amount of money from card counting and related adventures. My bankroll is now a decent size and I’m also using it to trade the equity and foreign exchange markets. If you include the financial speculations in the definition of ‘professional gambling’ then I would be ok to say that I have now been a professional gambler for some three and a half years now – since casino games and the financial markets have been my principal source of income over that time.

  • FrankieT

     

    Quote: Friendo said:
    I don’t mean to be rude, and I have no problem with you believing this, but I worry that someone with a limited bankroll and no job will be heartened by this.

    I have read hundreds of accounts the difficulty of making it on a limited bankroll, and run sim after sim on every sort of scenario, including expenses and replenishability, at several different Kelly ratios.

    I currently have a $15K replenishable bankroll, and there’s no way I would play green. I could play green by backing my bankroll with my emergency funds, but there is a reason they’re called emergency funds; and I have no doubt that I would hit a fluctuation which would hit me for more than $15K.

    I’ll start playing green when I have a $30K roll – again, that’s replenishable at a rate of around $1500/month. Even then, I have no illusions of averaging more than $40/hr. on a bankroll that small.

    I didn’t state that the money goes up in a linear fashion in any sense. you have a 1/4 chance of being down after 200 hrs of play, and 1/8 chance of being down after 400 hrs of play. So even if you played as many hours as a full time job for two months, you’d have a 1/8 chance of being down. But on the flipside, you also have 1/8 chance of winning a ton of money. Playing the top 10% pen games is important, as it will drastically lower you’re NO – the number of hands you have to go through to overcome one standard deviation.

  • blackjack avenger

    not so sure

    Quote: matt21 said:
    5. If you are planning to use a large bankroll, say $100k or more, then BJ is not such a good business proposition because it is difficult to consistently clock up large amounts of playing hours without getting barred.

    Playing with a 6 figure bank is not about trying to place 3g bets, with the associated heat. It’s the ability to place bets at low fractions of Kelly so one does not have to substantially cut bets on losses. One still wants to play a strong game with a low N0. The risk of hitting table minimums is about nil. Also, it makes covering expenses much easier. The problem comes with small banks, table minimums & expenses. A big bank has to play within the table limits of the casinos available.

    Many mid level players probably have the same betting ramp as some high stakes players. The difference is the high level player resizes his bank less on losses.

  • mrboxingfan

     

    Quote: celadore said:
    Give it a month or two – you’ll be back. Trust me.
    I’m sure you are not planning on abandoning card counting completely after investing over 200+ hours in training.
    Just cut back to a socially acceptable playing amount, like once a month or so.

    What system did you use ?

  • matt21

     

    Well, it’s a shame that the message boards are going to be archived – but fair go, we are getting a free service here!

    I just also wanted to say thank you so much for providing this forum for such a long time. Like several others, I ahve to honestly say that ALL the valuable AP contacts I made in the AP world have directly or directly stemmed from this forum. And I would never have progressed to whatever stage I am at now, was it not for this forum! Also I will finally add that I was actually based in the United Kingdom for most of my play – I was very anal in trying to keep a low profile when I first started, but I think it doesn’t matter so much now (plus some smart people would have undoubtedly realiZed this from some of my spellings.

    And the BJ Bash 2009 was a great one – thanks for the invite CP!

    Thanks BlackjackInfo!! Thanks Ken Smith!!

    Good luck to all the players out there

    For anyone wanting to get in contact you can email me at **** email address removed by request ****. (and no, neither Matt nor Greg are my real name)
    I will also try to join a couple of other forums using the same handle.

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